Holiday Stress Can Impact Mental Wellness and Substance Use
The holidays can be challenging for people, but there are healthy ways of coping with stress during the holiday season. The Community Overdose Action Team (COAT) notes that while there has been a downward trend in overdose deaths in recent months, stress can lead to an increase in substance use and can impact mental wellness.
“There can be a sense of hopelessness and loneliness during the holidays which can be a trigger for those suffering a mental health crisis and substance use, and the need for caution and alertness this time of year,” said Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services Executive Director Helen Jones-Kelley.
COAT has some suggestions about how to cope with holiday stress:
- Practice moderation in your activities, as well as in eating, drinking, and spending. Don’t get overtired.
- Prioritize your preparations. List what must be done and what would be nice to do. As pressures mount, relax and concentrate on the must list.
- For an extra “lift” surprise someone with unexpected kindness. It will make his/her day -- and your holiday.
- Keep reminding yourself of what the holiday season is all about.
- Enjoy free holiday activities, such as admiring holiday decorations or visiting with friends.
- Spend time with people who are supportive and care about you. Make new friends if you are alone during special times. Contact someone you have lost touch with.
- Don’t drink too much. Excessive drinking will only make you more depressed.
- Don’t be afraid to try something new. Celebrate the holidays in a way you have not done before.
- Find time for yourself! Don’t spend all your time providing activities for others.
The Community Overdose Action Team was established to address the opioid/heroin epidemic in Montgomery County. The goals of the team are to stabilize the number of people dying from drug overdoses and reduce the number of fatal overdoses. Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services and Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County are lead agencies in the effort to combat the epidemic.
Public Health – Dayton & Montgomery County: Dan Suffoletto (937) 224-3892 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Montgomery County Alcohol, Drug Addiction & Mental Health Services: Ann Stevens (937) 443-0416 x137 / Astevens@mcadamhs.org
Montgomery County: Cathy Petersen (937) 224-3831 / petersenC@mcohio.org